Ferdinando de' Medici

LL 203


Prince Ferdinando de' Medici of Tuscany (1633 - 1713) was a great patron of the arts in Florence. He was particularly fond of sculpture. In this piece his emblem - lightning striking through clouds - has been carved into his breastplate which is in the form of a shield. The related motto, ET LUCET ET TERRET ('It casts both light and terror'), is on the base. Fortini was known for his tomb and church sculpture. He was also an accomplished sculptor of portrait busts and medals. His work is characterised by the attention paid to fine details and textural distinctions. This is evident in this piece from the intricate curls of Ferdinando's wig and the contrast between smooth armour and fur wrap.